Rachael Leigh Cook is one of the more recognizable faces in rom-com history. Thanks to her starring role in ’90s teen classic She’s All That, Cook holds a special place in the hearts of romance fans the world over. But the new Netflix original film Love Guaranteed (out September 3) could be Cook’s greatest rom-com yet — because not only is the actor starring in the film, she was also the brains behind the plot.
The movie, which also stars Damon Wayans Jr. and Heather Graham, focuses on Susan (Cook), an earnest lawyer at a small firm who’s representing a high-paying client named Nick (Wayans) who wants to sue a dating app that guarantees love. Sparks begin to fly between Susan and Nick, meaning the app — in a roundabout way — may end up guaranteeing love for Nick after all.
Cook came up with the idea for the plot after hearing about a man who sued Coors for their beer not actually being made with Rocky Mountain water. She then approached Netflix and writers Elizabeth Hackett and Hilary Galanoy (the team behind Falling Inn Love) with her original idea, and the writers got to work on putting together a script filled with heart and humor. “We loved the concept from the get-go and knew it could make a great movie. It was an idea we’d truly never heard before,” the writers tell Bustle.
“I was so excited when they said that they would like to take on the project,” Cook says of the writing duo. “Their very first draft was laugh out loud funny and so moving. I remember feeling like this character was absolutely a gift for me at this stage in my life.”
As for the casting, the film’s producers were looking to bring in a somewhat a nontraditional leading man in the rom-com space to pair with Cook. And that’s where Wayans comes in. “Damon Wayans Jr. was one of the first actors that Rachael and our director Mark [Steven Johnson] were brainstorming about and we all felt he would make a perfect Nick,” producers Stephanie Slack and Margret H. Huddleston recall. “We had not seen him as a leading man in a romantic comedy, so [we] thought there may be some potential. When he accepted we were pleasantly surprised and excited.”
Slack and Huddleston describe the film as a “throwback rom-com” that takes inspiration from all-time classic When Harry Met Sally. So if you’re longing for a movie that mixes old school romantic comedy charm with modern dating sensibilities, add Love Guaranteed to your queue.
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